Offaly’s Tolü tops RTÉ Culture Night national celebration live from Lough Boora

Offaly has been announced as the focal point for RTÉ’s Culture Night special, on Friday, September 23. The centerpiece of RTÉ’s celebration of Culture Night 2022 will be a live one-hour show broadcast from Lough Boora bog in County Offaly, RTÉ One at 7pm on Friday, September 23.

Set in an abandoned former Bord na Móna works shed located on the edge of beautiful bogland, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and a selection of guest artists will perform before an audience of people drawn from the local area. The program will also reflect on how Culture Night is happening in the moment around the country by covering a range of events in various locations.

Music sensation Tolü Makay will headline the event, in an exciting collaboration between RTÉ, Offaly Arts Office and Music Generation Offaly Westmeath. A choir performing during this year’s Culture Night celebration features children from Music Generation Offaly’s Tullamore-based partner primary schools.

They are joined by members of the Singfest Regional Choirs, and together with friends and family have created this unique, intergenerational choir for this exciting collaboration with Tolü Makay and the RTE Concert Orchestra.

This Culture Night promises to be ‘one night for all’ as venues and public spaces across Offaly open their doors to host a program of FREE entertainment for Culture Night 2022 – an island-wide celebration of arts, heritage and culture. There is an emphasis on diversity and inclusion with all communities encouraged to come and be part of a range of multi-disciplinary events. Creative Edenderry are hosting ‘Cultures of Edenderry’ – a special evening celebrating the diverse cultures and nationalities of Edenderry and surrounding areas. Hosted by Creative Edenderry and Festival Edenderry, in the hall of St Mary’s Primary School, from 5pm to 9pm it will be an opportunity for locals to both showcase and sample some of the distinct cultural activities and produce from Ireland and around the world. Meanwhile, Tullamore sees Rahan Comhaltas hosting ‘Faces Of Culture & Creativity’ from 8pm in Charleville Castle. The evening will feature Indian Classical Dance Troupe Noopura Naada, followed by more of Rahan Comhaltas’ fantastic Irish dance, song and storytelling and complimentary refreshments! A Traveler culture craft is showcased at one of the highlight events Beady Pockets at Split Space Art Joint in Tullamore from 5pm. Donlon Dance Company explore what inclusion looks like through the sense of self, under influence of celebrities setting standards on fashion and body image. A dramatic piece of contemporary dance, which kicks off Culture Night in Tullamore Library from 4.30 pm.

Edenderry audiences can also engage with a range of events for all ages. Music Generation Offaly Westmeath in partnership with Youth Work Ireland (Midlands) and the Edenderry Youth Café present Inside Track an open mic showcasing the work of young Edenderry musicians from 6pm to 7pm while Eden Chorale’s: ‘Joy – A Choral Celebration at Edenderry Library from 6.15 pm to 7.45pm offers choral lovers a wonderful musical treat. The final event in Edenderry brings together a range of male performers to marry mental health and art. At Neart Fir | Strength Of Men, musicians (CODYY and John Gorman) will take on the theme of male mental strength through music and other mediums. Award-winning playwright (Irish Times Theater Awards, Stewart Parker Award, Rooney Prize for Literature) and Pure Mule creator Eugene O Brien will headline the event with a reading and observations on the theme, following the publication of his first novel Going Back by Gill this September. The event also features the poetry of Dr. Philip Brady and a short film from the Acorn Project.

The Birr trail starts at Birr Theater & Arts Center at 6.30 pm with ‘Palimpsest Exhibition: Eileen Casey & Emma Barone’ This commission sees the artists apply this ‘Palimpsest’ term to shop-fronts in Birr, thereby creating a symbiotic space while excavating earlier treasures. Next up at the theater is a workshop in late-night photography James Crombie from 7.30pm. Growing Local Culture at Birr Growery from 7.30 pm will see a candle lit evening, with light refreshments provided, a selection of short presentations, and a participatory workshop for all attendees. Birr School Of Music’s Community Sing at St. Brendan’s Market is open to anyone who wants to embrace the joy of singing on Culture Night. The Birr trail completes at the Courthouse yard from 8.30pm to 10.30 pm. Curated by Caroline Conway, there will be live music from winners of the Vintage Week Busking competition and the presentation of the Mick Egan Memorial Cup to this year’s winner. This will be followed by immersive audio-visual dive into the natural world, with films from Tina Claffey, Finn Nichol and Caroline Conway. Supported by Offaly’s Creative Ireland program.

Offaly also has a Culture Night Late event at JJ Hough’s Singing Pub in Banagher. Professional artists Sheila Hough and Patrick Hough will present an evening of artists’ film, paintings, music and discussion around the subject of Offaly’s peat bog lands and their relationship to Climate Change and ecological collapse. This fantastic evening is rounded off with a performance by Genre-bending, high-energy folk outfit Bog Bodies who will entertain into the night with their unique “druid rock” sound. Belmont and Clara also have events hosted by Rosemarie Langtry (Belmont) and Clara Musical Society.

Download the full brochure from Offaly Culture Night 2022 – Offaly County Council see and follow Offaly Culture Night on Facebook.

Culture Night is brought to you by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Creative Ireland Program in partnership with Offaly County Council.


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